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Written by Dr. Claudia Beuger.

Pottery sherds, which have been collected on the surface of Tell Nader by Mr. Nader Babakr Muhammed and Dr. Konstantinos Kopanias in May 2010, showed that Chalcolithic strata should be expected on the site. In addition, the brief rescue excavation, which was conducted by the Directorate of Antiquities of Erbil in August 2010 in the west end of the site, revealed a Middle/Neo-Assyrian jar burial (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Courtesy of Mr. Nader Babakr Muhammed.

The finds from the survey of the team of the University of Athens and also from the first excavation season in April 2011 lead to a more precise estimation of the chronological sequence in Tell Nader. The majority of the pottery finds from the site can be dated in the Chalcolithic period, and consist mainly of painted Early Northern Ubaid pottery (Fig. 2), as well as pottery of the Transitional (Fig. 3) and the Gawra-horizon (Fig. 4). Nevertheless, isolated finds from the Hassuna, Samarra and Halaf periods lead to the assumption that a complete stratigraphy of the Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic is expected in the site.

Fig. 2. Drawing: Claudia Beuger.
Fig. 3. Drawing: Claudia Beuger.
Fig. 4. Drawing: Claudia Beuger.

There are also isolated pottery finds from later periods, which indicate that the site was not abandoned altogether, namely from the Uruk period, the early third millennium and probably also the early second millennium. The relatively numerous finds of characteristic Middle Assyrian pottery, which have been collected during the surface survey prior to the excavation, lead to the conclusion that this site was still in use during that time. Finally, no certain Neo-Assyrian or later pottery types have been recognized yet.

The first excavation season in Tell Nader produced a total of 18.600 pottery sherds. During the first excavation campaign we have concentrated mainly on the classification of the pottery according to its fabric and also the vase forms. So far we were able to define a total of 43 different fabric types. The systematic statistical analysis of the pottery material is not yet concluded, but some patterns are already visible, such as the occurrence of the Organic Tempered Fabric (F8) mainly in Middle-Assyrian vase shapes. A total of more than 300 sherds have already been drawn, also thanks to the assistance of Ms. Hazan Latif and Ms. Rezna Abdulkadel, both archaeologists of the Directorate of Antiquities in Erbil.